“I know you think kissing is for marriage but…”
“Wait, what?” I said, interrupting what was sure to be a juicy confessional segment.
“You know, how you think kissing is for marriage.”
We had never discussed this topic. Not ever. I do happen to think kissing is for committed relationships, and I am about to hit the milestone of thirty having refrained from both kissing and telling. So 1.) I expect to be called by someone seeking movie rights to the story any day now and 2.) I was pretty proud that whether he phrased it exactly correctly or not, my lifestyle does communicate a little something about my values. It’s not a rule. It’s not a thing I want to impose on everyone, but it is a thing I do think I’ve done right for me.
However. There are a lot of things I’ve done wrong, and I’d be fooling myself not to understand those things have likely been communicated just as clearly, not with words or diagrams, but just by doing life with me through certain seasons.
So, this love month, I thought about those things. The things I wish I had known, or done differently, and I wrote those down. Then I talked them all over with Denae King and she, it turns out, had so many good things to say at points that her words begged for inclusion. You will find those words italicized below.
1.) Don’t answer phone calls at any and every hour.
Honestly, running around kissing strangers would have taken up less of my time than making myself readily available to anyone who called at any hour. Not that I wasn’t relieved of that duty the minute they got girlfriends to answer their calls. Which brings me to:
2.) Don’t waste time filling in for “the right one.”
I’m all for appropriate male/female friendships to this day. I love my boys. I cannot imagine what life would have looked like living without them. My sister married one of them. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those times when you are desperately needed but never enough and are filling a void specifically so someone else doesn’t feel lonely. Providing constant companionship to someone while they consistently seek and chase after the company of others OR playing pretend games of house in your head while you know there is no future. Don’t do it. Run.
3.) Don’t measure your worth by your relationship status.
“I think girls need to take a good hard look at how they truly feel about being alone. Can they be alone? Or are they constantly needing to fill their time jumping from one boy to the next or even incessantly hanging out with their friends. Can you be alone? Can you sit alone and read and think and commune with the Lord? That’s where the Lord is. In solitude. You are who you are independent of anyone else. Your worth should not be tied to anyone or anything but Him.”
Confidence is not just “becoming okay” with yourself. It’s getting over yourself entirely, looking out at the world and thinking “Is everyone being taken care of? Is everyone okay?” Instead of thinking “I hope my own needs will be met” or “I hope everyone is viewing me in the right light in this moment. I hope my behavior is okay.” It’s not about not caring what people think of you, it’s about caring for their personal well being more than you care about their opinion.
4.) Don’t read so many romance novels.
“What you digest is so important. It informs your thought processes. You’re going to want whatever it is you’re thinking about all the time - even if it’s not right for you in that season. Pay attention to what you read, watch, listen to etc.”
5.) Do realize that a person who is interested in you will let you know.
“Amen. This is not just something cute people like to say in order to sell more magazines or something. It’s the TRUTH.”
6.) Do understand the difference between interest and action.
Action really does speak louder than words, and you want a man of action anyway. It’s not even about “He did something and now I’m sure he’s interested.” No. You should want someone who DOES SOMETHING about his feelings period. More power to you in this day and age if you want to go ahead and pursue some man but you had better be prepared to be the one who keeps doing it the rest of the relationship.
There’s also a lot of time that goes into “Does he have feelings for me?” Feelings are nothing without the intentional decision to pursue someone. If I were going to be consumed with a question I wish that had been the one I was asking.
Not “Does he have feelings for me?” but rather “Does he intend to do anything about them?
7.) Do understand the difference in an interest and a crush
“There’s a guy you see in the airport running to a different gate and you’re like “Wow. That man is beautiful.” And then you don’t see him again. Girls take that type of fleeting feeling like you have in those moments and build castles in the sky on it. That’s not what you should be basing attachment on. Interest comes from being in company with someone, walking in friendship with them, realizing there might be something there. Jumping the gun for that crush feeling leads to two broken hearts where you should have just waited.”
There you have it. What I wish I would have known and what Denae thinks about it. I pray the Lord gives us all wisdom as to do’s or dont’s, could’s and should’s; I pray that that your “will he, won’t she”, plays out in His timing and turns into #blessed and “Taken.”
Mostly, I pray we understand we are extremely #blessed and thoroughly taken right here, right now, regardless of relational status and, as always, that we steward our status well.